Appellate

  • June 01, 2020

    High Court Turns Away Wisc. Bar Dues Case Despite Dissent

    The Supreme Court declined Monday to take up a First Amendment challenge to the State Bar of Wisconsin's mandatory dues scheme, prompting a dissent by Justice Clarence Thomas likening the payments to union fees the high court outlawed in a 2018 ruling.

  • June 01, 2020

    High Court Upholds Puerto Rico Financial Oversight Board

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday unanimously ruled that members of Puerto Rico's Financial Oversight and Management Board do not require U.S. Senate approval because the board's handling of the island's $125 billion bankruptcy is limited to Puerto Rico's fiscal issues and it only exercises local, territorial authority.

  • June 01, 2020

    High Court Rules Funded Pension Plans Can Skirt ERISA Suits

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that workers can't accuse pension plan caretakers of mismanaging their retirement savings unless the plan is underfunded, affirming U.S. Bank's Eighth Circuit win in a proposed ERISA class action.

  • June 01, 2020

    High Court Allows Circuit Court Review In Deportation Cases

    Foreigners with criminal convictions who fear they will be tortured if they are deported can challenge denials of their requests to stay in the U.S. in federal courts, the U.S. Supreme Court held Monday.

  • May 30, 2020

    Supreme Court Says Calif. Can Limit Church Gatherings

    Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. joined his liberal colleagues on the U.S. Supreme Court early Saturday morning to deny a request from a California church to lift restrictions on religious gatherings in the state during the pandemic.

  • May 29, 2020

    USPTO Tells Fed. Circ. Arthrex Not For Ex Parte Appeals

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is urging the Federal Circuit not to invoke its Arthrex ruling during appeals of rejected patent applications, saying that ruling's remedy of vacating and remanding cases is not needed under these circumstances.

  • May 29, 2020

    Ex-Judges Slam Flynn's Appeal In Dismissal Bid Fight

    A group of retired federal judges urged the D.C. Circuit on Friday to reject a petition by Michael Flynn asking the appeals court to order a judge to immediately grant the Trump administration's controversial request to dismiss the criminal case against the president's former national security adviser.

  • May 29, 2020

    5th Circ. Lets Down Telecoms In Access Fee Fight

    An appeals court panel has handed hundreds of local phone companies a key victory by sending a six-year dispute with Verizon and Sprint back to a Texas trial court without awarding millions in damages the major telecoms sought for exchange access fees they allege to have been charged over the years.

  • May 29, 2020

    Tenn. Court OKs Slash Of $4.5M Med Mal Verdict To $1.25M

    A Tennessee appeals court on Thursday approved the reduction of a $4.5 million medical malpractice award to $1.25 million in a closely watched case that had included a constitutional challenge to the state's statutory damages cap.

  • May 29, 2020

    Fed. Circ. Says Email Exchange Supports Deal Extension

    The Federal Circuit on Friday refused to revive a contractor's challenge to a one-year extension to an unprofitable terminal services agreement, saying a government email was sufficient to trigger a contract extension provision.

  • May 29, 2020

    NJ Doc Can't Escape Sanctions For Giving Attys Patient Info

    A prominent New Jersey psychologist whose license was suspended after he disclosed sensitive patient information to debt collection attorneys is stuck with more than $100,000 in sanctions after a state appellate court found his violations were egregious.

  • May 29, 2020

    D&O Insurer Didn't Deny In Bad Faith, Ill. Appeals Court Says

    An Illinois appellate court held Thursday that Liberty International Underwriters wasn't unreasonable or vexatious when it denied coverage under a directors and officers policy to an entertainment company accused of minority ownership oppression.

  • May 29, 2020

    'Storage Wars' Star Loses Fight Over Public Storage Bounty

    "Storage Wars" reality show star David Hester lost his latest battle Thursday with Public Storage over the chain's efforts to rescind his bounty from a $12,000 auction, after a California appeals court affirmed a finding that Public Storage properly voided the sale under contracts Hester signed.

  • May 29, 2020

    3rd Circ. Revives ADA Suit Over Faulty Disability Analysis

    The Third Circuit on Friday revived a truck driver's suit alleging Patrick Industries fired him for taking medical leave to recover from a lung biopsy procedure, saying a lower court fumbled its analysis of whether he was regarded as disabled under federal anti-discrimination law.

  • May 29, 2020

    DC Circ. Gives New Life To DOJ Worker's Promotion Bias Suit

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday revived a onetime U.S. Department of Justice employee's suit alleging she was denied a promotion that went to a far less qualified man because of her age and gender, saying the "caliber and quantity" of evidence she presented means that a jury should decide if she was discriminated against.

  • May 29, 2020

    Fed. Circ. Backs PTAB Trim Of Boston Scientific Spine Pain IP

    The Federal Circuit on Friday found that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board didn't err in a pair of decisions invalidating six of 10 claims in a Boston Scientific Corp. patent covering high-frequency spinal cord stimulation technology to treat chronic pain.

  • May 29, 2020

    Fla. Tells State High Court Medical Pot Statute Is Lawful

    Florida has told the state's high court that a medical pot dispensary is not likely to succeed in its claims that Florida's licensing system law for dispensaries amounted to an unconstitutional "special law," saying the statute is reasonable and rational.

  • May 29, 2020

    GOP Proxy Voting Challenge Faces Long Odds In Courts

    As new House proxy voting rules let lawmakers act remotely during the pandemic, constitutional scholars told Law360 that a Republican lawsuit challenging the procedure has little chance of success. Some former GOP lawmakers expressed reservations about their fellow Republicans' arguments and urged them to support some form of remote proceedings.

  • May 29, 2020

    Leahy, Grassley Want High Court Arguments Televised

    Two U.S. senators who previously chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday to continue to allow the livestreaming of oral arguments after the COVID-19 pandemic abates.

  • May 29, 2020

    5th Circ. Agrees With EPA's Review Of Exxon Refinery Permit

    The Fifth Circuit on Friday upheld the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision not to oppose Exxon Mobil Corp.'s air pollution permit application to enlarge a Texas petrochemical plant, rejecting arguments the permit should have received more scrutiny.

  • May 29, 2020

    5th Circ. Won't Revive $61.8M FCA Suit Over Medicare Coding

    The Fifth Circuit has affirmed a lower court's nixing of a $61.8 million False Claims Act suit alleging Baylor Scott & White Health overbilled Medicare over seven years, ruling Thursday that the relator's own complaint indicates that the health care system's practices were simply ahead of the curve.

  • May 29, 2020

    Texas Justices To Consider Royalty Clause Dispute

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review an oil and gas developer's dispute with royalty owners over whether the company can charge them for post-production costs.

  • May 29, 2020

    9th Circ. Says Suit Against H&M Hinges On Copyright Validity

    The Ninth Circuit on Friday upended fashion company Unicolors Inc.'s win in a case accusing H&M of stealing a copyright-protected design, saying the trial court needs to find out if Unicolors' copyright registration holds up despite containing inaccuracies.

  • May 29, 2020

    3rd Circ. Won't Revive Pa. Ban On Gaming Contributions

    A federal appeals court on Friday agreed that a provision of Pennsylvania law barring campaign contributions from individuals holding ownership stakes in businesses with gaming licenses ran afoul of constitutional free speech protections.

  • May 29, 2020

    Fed. Circ. Allows 'Pump And Dump' Victims To Recoup Losses

    A couple that lost over $2 million in a fraudulent "pump and dump" investment scheme can deduct theft losses to recover a portion of their funds, the Federal Circuit said Friday in reversing a denial of their tax refund bid.

Expert Analysis

  • Perspectives

    Illinois Must Do More To Protect Consumers In Debt

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    A recent Illinois Supreme Court order limiting debt collectors' ability to freeze personal bank accounts during the pandemic is progress, but it does not solve the underlying issue that debt courts are rigged against low-income people, says Ashlee Highland at CARPLS Legal Aid.

  • Avoiding Inadvertent Privilege Waivers In E-Communications

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    Attorneys at WilmerHale highlight recent developments in privilege law, the significant challenges raised by nontraditional working arrangements popularized during the pandemic, and ways to avoid waiving attorney-client privilege when using electronic communications.

  • How Anti-Terrorism Act Extension Affects Mainstream Cos.

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    Expansion of the Anti-Terrorism Act to include secondary aiding and abetting claims, in conjunction with a stream of pro-plaintiff legislation, is increasing both liability and loss-of-reputation risk for private companies and banks operating in troubled foreign regions, say attorneys at Skadden.

  • The Death Of The Combination Patent Claim

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    Recent Federal Circuit cases appear to suggest that if your patent claim to a combination of otherwise known elements does not include a specific technical improvement, then the claim is not patent-eligible — meaning a bedrock patent principle has been overruled implicitly, says Howard Skaist at Berkeley Law & Technology Group.

  • Limiting Employer Liability For Secondhand Virus Exposure

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    While the law on secondhand exposure to workplace hazards like COVID-19 varies from state to state, employers can make educated guesses about the scope of liability and the steps needed to protect workers and limit claims from third parties, say attorneys at McGuireWoods.

  • Opinion

    Don't Cancel Your Summer Associate Programs

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    While pulling off an effective summer associate program this year will be no easy feat, law firms' investments in their future attorneys should be considered necessary even during this difficult time, says Summer Eberhard at Major Lindsey.

  • Calif. Justices' Ruling Marks Turning Point For Jury Trial Right

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    The California Supreme Court’s holding that unfair competition and false advertising claims don’t need to be tried by a jury in Nationwide Biweekly v. Superior Court creates a framework for analyzing causes of action under other state laws that could steer courts to similar conclusions, says Patrick Hammon at McManis Faulkner.

  • New Trend In IPR Institution Appealability Demands Scrutiny

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    While a recent trend of federal courts holding that U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decisions instituting inter partes reviews are not appealable requires close following, there are two remedies practitioners can seek apart from appeal, say Brett Cooper and Kevin Schubert at McKool Smith.

  • Navigating TM Profits Remedy After High Court Decision

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent Romag v. Fossil decision didn't articulate a specific test to determine whether a trademark profits award is appropriate, which will likely have ripple effects on the varying circuit court standards, and litigators will need to keep several considerations in mind, say attorneys at Gibson Dunn.

  • 5 Ways To Reduce Post-Pandemic Legal Malpractice Exposure

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    History suggests that legal malpractice claims will rise following the current economic downturn, and while a certain percentage of the claims will be unavoidable, there are prophylactic steps that law firms can take, says John Johnson at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Opinion

    Justices Should Construe Computer Fraud Law Narrowly

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    In U.S. v. Van Buren, the U.S. Supreme Court should follow burglary and trespass cases to limit the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act’s scope to accessing or misusing employer data and avoid the absurd result of criminalizing an employee's unauthorized Facebook visit, say Anthony Volini and Karen Heart at DePaul University.

  • Wash. ERISA Ruling Paves Way For Access To Health Benefits

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    A Washington federal court’s recent decision that a hotel industry health care ordinance is not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in ERISA Industry Committee v. Seattle is a critical step toward making health care universally available, particularly for low-wage, nonunion employees, says Mark DeBofsky at DeBofsky Sherman.

  • Opinion

    Fla. Felon Voting Decision Interprets Constitution Incorrectly

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    The recent Florida federal court ruling in Jones v. DeSantis — that preventing convicted felons from voting if they can’t afford their legal financial obligations is unconstitutional — was wrongly decided because disenfranchisement neither violates equal protection nor constitutes a poll tax, says attorney R. D. Kelly.

  • Accelerating Regulatory Reform For Replica Vehicles

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    Specialty Equipment Market Association v. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may have sped up the agency's delayed rulemaking on replica vehicles, but companies should stay involved by submitting comments before regulations are finalized, say Anne Marie Ellis and Taylor Brown at Buchalter.

  • Justices' SEC Disgorgement Ruling May Shape FCPA Matters

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    The U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming opinion in Liu v. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission may call into question when Foreign Corrupt Practices Act settlements should be subject to disgorgement, say Matthew Rutter and Neal Hochberg at Charles River Associates.

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